Learning “How To Quit Facebook” at the Burnaby Festival of Learning

A quick overview of a public event from the Festival of Learning

Chris Ho/The Peak

By: Onosholema Ogoigbe, News Team Member

On May 6, Mariah Gastaldo, an SFU alumna and librarian at the Burnaby Public Library, presented an event titled “How to Quit Facebook” at the McGill branch of the library as part of the ongoing Burnaby Festival of Learning.

Despite its title, Gastaldo’s event was not just a step-by-step guide on how to delete Facebook. At the start of the event, attendees were asked to write what they had come to learn on a sticky note and post it on the wall behind the presenter. The aim was to have answered all of their questions by the end of the program.

Gastaldo then proceeded to provide attendees with alternatives to deleting their account that they might consider, such as taking some time away from Facebook or deactivating their accounts.  These may be more effective depending on a user’s motivation for deleting their account. After, Gastaldo taught attendees how to keep their social media private through methods like incognito windows. She then provided a demo on how to actually delete the account. Once the event’s outline had been fulfilled, Gastaldo opened the floor up for questions and interactions.

The event ended with a lot of questions from attendees. Many left the venue having deleted their Facebook account. After everyone had left, I got a chance to sit down with Gastaldo and talk to her about the event and the Festival of Learning as a whole.

She remarked that the turnout was great, and that with some exceptions, she was able to answer most of the questions that attendees had written down on the sticky notes.

“It’s really rewarding to be involved in this,” Gastaldo said of the Festival of Learning. “It’s really inspiring and lifelong learning is why I got into libraries.”

The Burnaby Festival of Learning, a collaboration with SFU and the city of Burnaby, is described on its official website as “a week-long series of free events . . . designed to inform, engage and spark creative conversations among Burnaby’s bright and diverse audiences.” The festival’s incentive is to encourage “unconventional, lifelong learning.”